The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Articles written by Ned Rozell

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 By NED ROZELL    Main News    May 23, 2018 

Making a new map of Denali, the highest mountain in America

A Fairbanks scientist recently made an intricate new map of Denali while crisscrossing its summit a few times in a single-engine airplane. His top-of-the-continent measurement was within a few feet of a GPS reading done a few years ago, using a...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    May 16, 2018

Chasing the sun from New York to Alaska in a single day's journey burns a lot of fuel

When I left my sister's house in Brooklyn, I was 4,200 miles from my home. That's a long way, but I slept in my Fairbanks bed before the next sunrise. Enabling this incredible time travel are modern j...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    April 18, 2018

Alaska hot springs are spread out far and wide across the state

KANUTI HOT SPRINGS - After a few hours of skiing through deep snow, Forest Wagner and I smelled a tuna sandwich. We knew we were closing in on warm pools of water. From the frozen Kanuti River, we mov...

 
 By Ned Rozell    Main News    March 28, 2018

Streaking, manmade lights in the sky

I slept outside a few nights ago. Lying on a platform of packed snow, my face looking upward from the sleeping bag, I squinted at the Big Dipper. Within a few minutes, what appeared to be a moving...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 14, 2018

A scientist's view of Alaska speaks out from 150 years ago

One year before Alaska became part of America, 21-year old William Dall ascended the Yukon River on a sled, pulled by dogs. The man who left his name all over the state was in 1866 one of the first...

 
 By NED ROZELL    Main News    March 7, 2018

Did plants cause one of Earth's great extinctions?

Several times in the distant past, our home planet has been cleansed of its residents, with the exception of a few plucky survivors. Perhaps the best known and most spectacular extinction was that of...

 

Was the ice age's Bering Land Bridge a good place to live?

During the coldest days of the last ice age, the Bering Land Bridge was 1,000 miles wide, a belt buckle the size of Australia that connected North America and Asia. That mysterious land of green...

 

Space weather: havoc caused by the sun monitored from Colorado

Space weather affects snowplow drivers carving through Thompson Pass in a whiteout, Iowa farmers dropping seeds of corn, and wedding planners who release white doves during the ceremony. These and other customers subscribe to daily forecasts from the...

 

Earthquake and tsunami warning: mysterious and difficult to define

What's this? Another aftershock? That's hundreds now, each more faint than the last. Sorry, I guess I've moved on. I should pay more attention, given that you - a 7.9 deep in the seafloor not far from...

 

Utqiagvik, formerly known as Barrow, where the climate has changed

Two things happened on top of the world last month. In Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), on January 22 the sun topped the horizon for the first time since mid-November. The day before that, January 21, was...

 

Image of Porcupine herd travels cross country, reminiscent of bison herds

There are no photographs of bison spilling by the thousands across the Great Plains. By the time cameras came along, most of the bison were gone. John Wright of Fairbanks believes he has an Alaska...

 

Answer this: Can you pinpoint the most remote area of Alaska?

Richard Forman, a Harvard professor of landscape ecology, once visited a mangrove swamp in the Florida Everglades that he described as the most remote place in the eastern U.S. The swamp was 17 miles from any road. What's the most remote spot in...

 

Driven by open ocean, Arctic continues to warm

NEW ORLEANS - At this gathering of thousands scientists at a horseshoe bend of the lower Mississippi River, a few talked about a place far away they have been watching for years. "The Arctic shows no sign of returning to the reliably frozen state it...

 

Skiers, snowmachiners help improve snow models for scientists

Snow falling silently on Alaska's mountains will in a few months transform into a medium for migrating salmon, and so much more. "That snowflake that falls on the mountain now is water that flows in...

 

Pioneer scientist determined aurora height over Alaska

"Professor Fuller Drops Dead in Garden." So reads the headline in the Farthest-North Collegian newspaper of June 1, 1935. In the story, an unnamed writer described how the wife of the only physics...

 

Fox-trapping biologist retires after career in removing invasive species

On Halloween 2017, Alaskan Steve Ebbert, 56, retired from his job as an invasive species biologist. His longtime mission of removing arctic foxes and other human-introduced species from the Aleutian...

 

Biographer profiles scientist-explorer of northeast Alaska

In the early 1990s, Janet Collins was hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when she saw "Camp 163" labeled on her map. Intrigued, she later looked up Camp 163 in Donald Orth's Dictionary of A...

 

Wolves are cagy and reluctant with things that are unknown

The wolf tracks appeared as they always do, as a surprise. On a day between fall and winter, with the leaves fallen and browning but the ground not yet hard, I was walking with my dog and an a.m. radio. We were descending a four-wheeler trail on a...

 

Scientists are studying algae's athletic and living role in glacier melt

Life exists everywhere you look. Even on glacier ice, home to inch-long worms, snow fleas, bacteria and algae. When gathered by the millions on the ice, algae cells can help make the water they need...

 

Finding far-north lynx den full of kittens is part of cycle study

In her study of one of the farthest north lynx populations in North America this summer, Claire Montgomerie used her ears. While looking at the satellite tracker a female lynx was wearing,...

 

Prehistoric reptile one mile above McCarthy rediscovered

In 1963, 23-year-old geologist David Whistler sat down for lunch on a rocky hilltop one mile above Kennicott Glacier. With one hand on his sandwich and the other on his miner's pick, he flipped over...

 

Hurricanes and far north sea ice correlation debated by scientists

Speaking at a conference in coastal Texas last fall, a researcher from Florida mentioned with relief that her home was 13 feet above sea level. That seemed curious to me, a middle Alaskan living at...

 

North Korea blast lights up Alaska seismometers though not quake-like

On Saturday night, Matt Gardine was at home outside Fairbanks playing with his daughter when his phone beeped. As the seismologist on call with the Alaska Earthquake Center, Gardine's duty was to get information out about detectable earthquakes...

 

Polar bears of the past survived warmth according to some scientists

An ancient jawbone has led scientists to believe that polar bears survived a period thousands of years ago that was warmer than today. Sandra Talbot of the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage was one of 14 scientists who teamed to write a paper...

 

Hike across Alaska ends with after-dinner bear encounter - from afar

A few days ago, Cora the dog and I walked across a footbridge spanning a natural moat flowing through northern tundra plants. There, we reached mile 0 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the finish of a...

 

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